Y’all, let us just eat this harvest pasta sauce for the rest of our lives? Is that cool?
I love the autumnal harvest pasta sauce from Trader Joe’s. However, that ish has heavy cream, which means I’ll be not feeling so hot if I eat it. So I set off on a quest to copycat the sauce, but take out all the dairy. The pasta sauce has all of your favorite fall flavors, is super cozy, and reinvigorates my love affair with butternut squash so yes, YA KNOW SHE IS A WINNER. It tastes just like the real thing.
How easy was that?
We all know that pumpkin gets all the loving this time of year. But seriously, I’m over pumpkin. Don’t get me wrong. I think pumpkin is incredibly seasonal. I just think she’s overrated and needs to let a new squash shine.
Enter da butternut.
Could you imagine if we gave all the love we give to pumpkin to a butternut squash? Or give all the love we give to pumpkin to practically anything? I know I feel that. Actually I just did a search and y’all THERE ARE NO PUMPKIN RECIPES HERE. How did I do that? I have zero clue.
But I do love fall so let’s celebrate fall the best way we know how! With lots of orange foods, of course! I have a lot of pasta sauce recipes over here, but this one is one of my favs. I’ve actually been sitting on a version of the recipe for a YEAR. Fall is when this baby truly shines.
This recipe puts together fire roasted tomatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin puree (I use this brand), and sage into a creamy dreamy sauce. The secret ingredient is soaked cashews, which make it taste like ya think that dairy ish is in there. You wouldn’t even know it’s dairy free and it’s perfect on pasta, chickpeas, or breadsticks. Y’all know I can’t resist a dunker.
I have both regular pot and Instant Pot instructions here, because that’s how we’ve been rolling around here lately. I use this Instant Pot, but feel free not to buy another if you’ve got one. Definitely a student GAME CHANGER. I also might double this sauce, freeze it in reusable silicone bags, and have it for dinners all week long. Can you say WINNER?
Yields 6 servings worth
30 minPrep Time
1 hrCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 14 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups veggie stock (for Instant Pot, reduce to 3/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked in hot water for ~30 min
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon miso paste (optional)
Turn on the saute function on the instant pot for 30 minutes. Allow to heat and add olive oil. Once heated, add onion, salt, pepper, and red pepper flake. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is caramelized. Stir in the garlic, squash and fresh sage. Cook, stirring often, until squash begins to soften, around 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes more. Add in the diced tomatoes, veggie stock, pumpkin puree, and allspice. Stir to combine, then place lid on Instant Pot. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Manually release once pressure cooking is completed.
See below for final instructions
Heat a large pot over low heat and add the olive oil. Once melted, stir in the onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the onion is caramelized. Stir in the garlic, squash and fresh sage. Cook, stirring often, until squash begins to soften and almost caramelize, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes more. Add in the diced tomatoes, veggie stock, pumpkin puree, and allspice. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Transfer transfer half of the mixture to a blender and add soaked cashews, balsamic vinegar, and miso paste, if using. Puree until smooth before adding it back to the pot. Once the sauce is half blender, stir in the parmesan cheese. Cook for 5 minutes longer to set. Taste the sauce and season it additionally if needed with salt and pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta or toss with chickpeas. EAT